Need to Know
  1. Starbucks' new Pumpkin Spice Latte will use pumpkin puree
  2. It also will no longer have caramel coloring
  3. Panera's competing pumpkin drink also is going more natural

Just like the leaves that tumble from trees, “fall’s official beverage” is getting in touch with its natural side. Starbucks announced today — via company blog and Twitter account — that its beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte will now be made with real pumpkin puree and without artificial caramel coloring.

After being criticized for a lack of transparency around its pumpkin spice ingredients, Starbucks is laying it all out this year. Here’s the full list of ingredients in the new “Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce”:

  • Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt)

The company’s beloved — and occasionally mocked — beverage is just the latest food to ditch at least some of its artificial trappings. Among other big-name products cutting out artificial flavors and preservatives, reducing sugar, or making other tweaks to recipes in response to a growing consumer demand for “real food” products: Kraft’s mac and cheese, many General Mills cereals, chocolates from Hershey and Nestle, and basically everything on Panera’s menu.

Speaking of Panera, its own pumpkin spice latte is also getting in the real-pumpkin, less-artificial-stuff game, and the company will be giving out samples this week in Starbucks’s hometown of Seattle before releasing the drink officially on September 9. Game on, pumpkin fans.

This renders at least part of John Oliver’s anti-pumpkin-spice rant  (“there’s no actual pumpkin in the drinks!”) irrelevant, though whether it’s still going to be “the coffee that tastes like a candle” is up to you to decide.

Starbucks has yet to say when the new-look PSL will be available, but we bet this Twitter account will keep us in the loop.

Photo source: Starbucks Newsroom